Saturday, 22 December 2007

A Brief Guide To Guitar Hero

As Christmas approaches, the one thing that I really want to get is another Wii Guitar peripheral. I have a friend that lives just down the road and he's good at GH, and he comes round often to play with/against me. It's logical that I would want another guitar.

And I'm sitting here listening to songs of the first game and wondering what to put in my guide. Keep in mind that I haven't planned this so they won't be in order.

1. - HOPOs, or Hammer Ons and Pull Offs [try saying that 5 times quickly!]

It's surprising that such a little thing could make such a difference, but it actually halves the amount of effort you have to put in at some points of the song. Picture this - you're having to concentrate on a huge solo with 4million notes per second, bit you also have to strum each one. You'd lose, and pretty damn quickly.
But think about it this way. You're having to do the same solo, but you don't have to strum. As long as you can move your fingers fast enough, you can survive it.

That's why HOPOs are so important - they do just this. As long as you hit the previous note, you can hit the next one - so one important bit about HOPO strings are making sure you hit it all, or you're at least ready to strum again should you miss a note. A good song for practicing this is The Metal, imo, although correct me if I'm wrong.

Of course, if you're a showoff, you can stick your strum hand in the air for long HOPO strings like in the end of Laid to Rest [although that one hurts].

2. - Playing through a lot of different songs on one day

I'll explain this one, because it may not make sense. My usual GH habits are that I get on to the game, and play through songs that I like [most of them, thank goodness], and I never play through the same song twice. Apart from Cliffs of Dover, my signature song.

If you do this, you not only get used to the songs and the note charts, you also get used to different techniques, and you generally get to like the songs more. Before I got GHII, I disliked metal. When I got GHIII, I disliked all but about 2 of the songs. Now I love them all.

If you continue this every day, you'll
get better at the songs, because you'll actually enjoy them, as well as practicing them.

3. - Get Hold Of The Songs, and put them on your iPod

This is an extension of 2. in that you do it so that you get used to the songs ever when you aren't playing the game. I myself have an iTunes playlist full of GHI and II music for any times when I want some good rock/metal music, and when it starts playing, I always start, yes, Air-Guitar-Heroing to it. Even if you don't know the note chart, it still helps you get the gist of the song. Plus, I've never tried it but I suppose you can always get the Scorehero notecharts while you're sitting at your computer and practice like that.

And yes, I do get weird looks.

4. - Get a Signature Song

Mine is Cliffs of Dover. It is my song, the one I adore, it's just awesome. And you should get one too.

Yeah, I know I said that you should get diversity, but it's also good just to practice a few songs more than others. This, to me, used to be Talk Dirty To Me, Cliffs of Dover and Bulls on Parade. Now I'm better at those songs that others. It's obvious really.

5. Chord changes

I'll just briefly explain this one - if you can do chord changes, then you're at an advantage, because a lot of the songs include a lot of hard chord changes, especially Before I Forget. Therefore, get some practice in [required brackets so that I'm not ending a sentence with a preposition, I'm quite a grammar and spelling freak].

6. And Finally, Practice.

Practice mode is quite possibly the best thing that was added in GHII. Now you can play your favourite songs without failing miserably cough cough TTFAF cough cough. So use it, and use it often, and play once a day if you can. It might sound cliched, but practice makes perfect. And it does, because I've been playing for a year [well, if you count the time I've played GHI at other places, more, but that wasn't very often. I got a PS2 with GHI and II on Christmas 2006, so a 362 days as of this writing] and I'm on Expert, whereas I know people who haven't been laying as long, and obviously aren't as good as me, although I don't pride myself as being that good, after seeing Wulfe and Priest etc.

So, if you want to get good at Guitar Hero, throw yourself into the deep end - because you can't lose on practice mode. So if you're a Medium player, try a few songs on Hard or maybe Expert!

Trust me, eventually it'll click and you'll be able to play some awesome stuff.

That's all from me today, and considering my laziness, the next post will probably be after Christmas.

So have a Merry Christmas everybody - and game on!

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